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Education or Party Politics at Michigan's School Board?

 
Education or Party Politics at Michigan's School Board?
Posted Wednesday, August 13th 2014 @ 9am  by WOOD Radio News Team

Minority Republicans on the Michigan state school board say it is the majority Democrat members who are behind the recent demand, this year, for accountability from Charter schools in Michigan. 

The state School Superintendent, Mike Flanagan, this week threatened to stop Grand Valley State University, the Muskegon Heights Public Schools, and nine other organizations from authorizing Charter schools. 

He says each of those groups has charters performing in the bottom 10 percent of schools.

Flanagan told WOOD TV this is to guarantee success for the students.  "So you're in the bottom ten percent, but if I can see as state 'Supe' that they're making progress, then they'll be fine."

State School Board Republicans Eileen Weiser and Richard Zeile  say there is no "consensus" on how to measure student academic growth. 

They also say the majority members of the state school Board are targeting all charter schools, or Public School Academies, with "proposals [that] seek to fit PSAs into the current governance structure of traditional public schools and districts. That would undermine one of the primary reasons charters and public school choice exist: to provide children with an alternative to local schools."

The two wrote reporters in an e-mail  Tuesday evening, "we believe that any Board requests for legislative action must apply to all Michigan schools - not just to charters, which are already held to higher standards under statute."

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